Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Mexican Team Out, But Not Down

MÉRIDA, YUCATÁN – Mexico’s world cup journey ended on Sunday in a somewhat controversial 2 – 1 win by Netherlands at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. It was a sad moment for a team which has, in general shown world class performance during the tournament; unfortunately the “curse of the final 16” struck yet again, and by Monday night, the Mexican team was on a flight back to Mexico City.

Mexico fought through the tournament against a backdrop of poor refereeing, bad decisions, and the continuing refusal by FIFA to use the technology at their disposal to ensure games are fair.

Despite the loss in the round of 16 however, Mexico has much to celebrate. The national team, winners of the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament in London has spent the
last two years languishing in the doldrums; now however, after months of doubts, the last two weeks have proven that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Under new manager Miguel Herrera, the team has bounced back, and looked like champions throughout their games in Brazil. Before the tournament, Herrera was frequently criticized for his ‘experimentation’ with various combinations of players right up until the final preparation game; time has shown that he knows what he is doing, and the chatter of criticism soon died away once the real games began.

The Mexican team is home today, of course reflecting on what might have been. The rapturous welcome at the airport in Mexico City must have done much for their self-esteem; they can be proud of what they achieved in Brazil, and can look forward to continuing in their rightful place at the top of the region and as a powerful force in world football in tournaments to come.

One final time, for now, let’s all scream “Viva Mexico!!!!!!”

For the schedules of the remaining matches in the upcoming World Cup, see here: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/index.html

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